No.342,342.1 (JV,DT,GE)

Julia Vysotska (Latvia)

Julia Vysotska (Latvia),
Dmitri Turevsky (Russia),
Georgy Evseev (Russia)


Original Problems, Julia’s Fairies – 2013 (II): May – August

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No.342 by Julia Vysotska – Anti-batteries, reciprocal play of two pairs of pieces, Take&Make with activity of the white King! (JV)

No.342.1 by Julia Vysotska, Dmitri Turevsky & Georgy Evseev – Improved version of problem No.342 -Take&Make effect in 3 half-moves of 4, improved interplay of black and white. (JV)


PAO(PA): Moves as Rook, but captures only by hopping over a hurdle to any square beyond.

VAO(VA): Moves as Bishop, but captures only by hopping over a hurdle to any square beyond.

Take & Make: Having captured, a unit must immediately, as part of its move, play a non-capturing move in imitation of the captured unit from the capture-square. If no such move is available, the capture is illegal. Promotion by capture occurs only when a pawn arrives on the promotion rank as the result of a take&make move. Checks are as in normal chess: after the notional capture of the checked K, the checking unit does not move away from the K’s square.

No.342 Julia Vysotska
Dedicated to my mother, Larisa Vysotska,
in occasion of her birthday, 28th of June!
h#2            b) nPa6->a7        (1+5+4)
Neutral VAO g5; PAO g4
Solutions: (click to show/hide)
No.342.1 Julia Vysotska, Dmitri Turevsky
& Georgy Evseev

Latvia / Russia
Version of No.342, 05.08.2013
h#2               2 solutions        (2+8+2)
Neutral VAO f3; PAO g4
Solutions: (click to show/hide)

25 Responses to No.342,342.1 (JV,DT,GE)

  1. seetharaman says:

    Very nice problem with interesting mates by neutral pieces. Nice dedication. My best wishes to your mother. Does she know chess ? 🙂

    • JuliaJulia says:

      Thanks!! For several evenings I couldn’t find a positions for 5 main pieces in this problem (wK, nPAO, nVAO, B, R), because of cooks and move order, and yesterday’s morning (mother’s birthday) suddenly have found! So came the dedication.
      Well, my mother can play chess on a hobby level, as most of people can. She’s not interested in composition itself, but as any mother she’s happy for me, that I’ve discovered it for myself and that it gives me so much.

      • seetharaman says:

        Not many can play chess even on hobby level. Surprisingly my grandmother who was just literate could, but not many of my close family members!

  2. Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

    Are you sure the twins are needed?

    • JuliaJulia says:

      I’m not, and I don’t like these technical neutral pawns as well. But for now I can’t improve. Adding more powerful white to guard 2 King’s squares, or one more half-move to do it produces too many cooks I can’t avoid. Do you have an idea?

      • Not an improvement, just quick test on how unavoidable those cooks are 🙂

        1.Rf4-d4 Ka4*b3-d1 2.Bf5-e4 nPAb4*e4-b1 #
        1.Bf5-e6 Ka4*b4-b6 2.Rf4-f7 nVAb3*f7-a7 #

      • Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

        Yes, I have an idea).

        Remove: neutral Pa6, Pb6.
        Add: White Pa6, Pa7, Black Pb4.

        • JuliaJulia says:

          Oh, God, really! I’ve tried 2 white pawns when had a bit different setting, and promotions made me think that I should forget about them. But here bPb4 stops all cooks!
          I. 1.Bc3-d2 Kh5*g4-g2 2.Rc4-c1 nVAg5*c1-h1 #
          II. 1.Rc4-e4 Kh5*g5-d8 2.Bc3-d4 nPAg4*d4-h8 #


          • JuliaJulia says:

            can’t stop thinking about it…
            Actually, Pa7 is a very good one! It’s needed in the both solutions, and the nice Take&Make effect of it is block of a7 square – the black King can’t capture it as it would make him move to a8 again! It’s a pity there’s not the same about Pa6..

            • Themis Argirakopoulos says:

              To have a wPa7 to guard a7, is a nice T&M effect.
              What do you think of the following setting?
              White Pa7 Kh4
              Black Ka8 Ph7 Pc5 Pe3 Qc2
              Neutral VAg4 PAg3

              1…Kh4*g4-c8 2.Qc2-c3 nPAg3*c3-h8 #
              1…Kh4*g3-f3 2.Qc2-d1 + nVAg4*d1-h1 #

              Maybe you can improve it. Best wishes to your mother!

  3. JuliaJulia says:

    Thanks for all versions! But I have to think if the version with pawns is optimal. All versions have their minuses…
    Dmitri’s version is something I’ve tried as well, but too many black pieces are needed to stop cooks. Version by Themis has an imbalance in solutions where again in the 1st solution b8 is guarded twice and a King has two functions. And, Themis, I simply like my pair of pieces B/R and their reciprocal play!

    • Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

      It is possible to remove two pieces from Dmitri’s version (-Rf8 -Pg2 -Rh1 +nQf3). There is only single set of cooks with wQf3 but I have not tried to get rid of it.

      • Not using neutral pieces as guards was the point. I have quit just as i had found the sound setting. Anyway the self-guarding pawn a7 is superior in every aspect.

        What bothers me slightly is that to sequence the black moves 1.Rc4-e4 is an anti-critical, while 1.Bc3-d2 is a gate-opening. I would prefer two anti-critical moves. Here is the quick sketch:

        h#2;; T&M; pao/vao/neutrals

        1.Rc4-e4 Sh3*f2-e1 2.Bc5-d4 nPAf4*d4-a1 #
        1.Bc5-e3 Sh3*f4-f3 2.Rc4-d4 nVAf2*d4-e4 #

        VAa2 is ugly, perhaps something can be done about it.

  4. Twinning can be done about it:


    1.Rb4-e4 Sh3*f2-e1 2.Bb6-d4 nPAf4*d4-a1 #

    b) -bRh2
    1.Bb6-e3 Sh3*f4-f3 2.Rb4-d4 nVAf2*d4-e4 #

  5. Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

    Hopefully, original idea inspired by Dmitri’s last concept.
    h#2 2+9+2

    1.Rc2-e2 nVAf1*d3-c2 2.nPAg2*c2-b1 Sf4*e2-e1 #
    1.Bd3-e2 nPAg2*c2-c4 2.nVAf1*c4-c6 Sf4*e2-f3 #

    The position may be suboptimal yet.

    Not tried

    • JuliaJulia says:

      This is a very nice one!

    • Dmitri TurevskiDmitri Turevski says:

      Not sure: nPAg2 –> f2, remove bPh4? Although neutral chinese pieces initially occupying thematic lines is a nice visual feat.

      Now this is a real helpmate with black and white cooperating, not just playing their own parts!

    • Dmitri TurevskiDmitri Turevski says:

      Two pawns can removed:


      1.Be6-d7 nPAb7*f7-f5 2.nVAc8*f5-f3 Sc5*d7-c6 #
      1.Rf7-d7 nVAc8*e6-f7 2.nPAb7*f7-g8 Sc5*d7-d8 #

      • Paul Raican says:

        Three out of four moves (in both phases) are typical Take&Make. I like this light version. White K is stop-cooking.

        • JuliaJulia says:

          I also like this one! Just the second move 2… Sc5*d7- bothers me as it is the same in both solutions. Although, the 2nd part of the move is different…
          I was thinking about publication of some the best version, but I’m not sure if this one is final.
          On the other hand, I don’t have any ideas about improving it, but while discussing this problem I’ve decided to try another pair of neutrals and composed a bit different problem, No.345.
          To Themis: a black Q, as you’ve suggested here, is quite good there!
          Anyway, thanks a lot for all comments and suggestions! And of course I’ll be always happy to publish the final (joint)version here!

      • Georgy EvseevGeorgy Evseev says:

        Somehow I never tried this position with black Pa7, though have lost a lot of time trying to remove white knight and hoping to use white king as forward piece in antibatteries.

        Also two non-standard facts about this last version.

        1. Square d7 is critically important for all the moves in both solutions.

        2. This is some kind of “ultimate Zilahi” possible only with neutral pieces: first, piece A captures piece B and mates; then, piece B captures piece A and mates.

  6. S.K.BalasubramanianS. K. Balasubramanian says:

    No. 342
    This is another version
    1.Bc3 Kxg5-d8 2.Rf3 PAOxc3-h8#
    1.Rc1 Kxh3-f3 2.Bd2 VAOxc1-h1#

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